The company claims that fieldwork has restarted on its Tilemsi phosphate project to upgrade and update the geological resource. Work was originally brought to a halt in June this year because of an early onset of seasonal rains limiting access to the site with heavy equipment. Great Quest claims that it continues to work towards moving a portion of the current inferred resource to measured and indicated, to revalidate its economic study to submit for its mining permit. The company is already in receipt of its environmental permits.
In the statement, Great Quest also claims that it is in advanced discussions with an international fertilizer producer and blender to start importing finished fertilizer product for the Malian market. The company is able to do so with the support of its offtake distribution partners. If finalised as envisioned, Great Quest claims that these plans could see the company realising revenue as early as 1H18.
The President and CEO of the company, Jed Richardson, said: “Navigating the opportunity in Northern Mali has resulted in an unconventional sequence of development for the project and the strategy of fertilizer trading allows us to realise the benefits of some of the hard work completed early on, while on the ground activities are completed. A sales track record builds our credibility with development finance lenders that we are in discussion with for the financing of our manufacturing facility, and maintains our relationship with our offtake partners. This move will put Great Quest more concretely in the food security mix in Mali and West Africa, a longer-term goal of the company.”
Great Quest claims that no sales have yet been made, but discussions have advanced to a stage where the shift in strategy needs to be disclosed to stakeholders.